A Blonde Guitar - Making a Copy of the FE 19 Guitar by Antonio Torres: The Fretboard

The left hand should always approach the fretboard in a position that allows each finger equal access to every string...

Pepe Romero, La Guitarra: A Comprehensive Study of Classical Guitar Technique and Guide to Performing, 2012

Back at the workbench...

Final shaping of the ebony fret board for "Amparo". I want the width at the nut to be 52mm and at the 12th fret 62mm, I don't know who established this relationship, but the fretboards on all the historic guitars, whose measured drawings that I have studied, are like that. After planing down this fretboard, I discovered that I need to flatten the sole of my No. 7 jointer! It's fine to use until I do, I just have to be very careful about setting the blade and using it.

The fretboard held in place with some brass brads so I can mark the sound hole location. Then I carefully cut the half moon out with a coping saw, ebony is brittle wood and I don't want to chip it!

This is Macassar ebony that I purchased from LMI and I was surprised to find out as I thicknessed it that it has some fiddle back figure to it. I don't know if you can see the figuring in the photo. I would like to get more like that, but this ebony was purchased over a year ago, I doubt they have any with that kind of figure.

I finish the half moon on a sanding disc chucked into the drill press that is the same diameter as the sound hole, 86mm. Then I made sure the back of the fret board is level, made a gluing caul and got out the clamps.

This is the point where I wonder if I applied too little or too much glue. Squeeze out was minimal, not much to clean up with is nice, because it reduces the risk of marring the sound board.

As I was getting ready for the glue-up I realized that I don't have any fret wire of the proper size! I need to stop writing so I can order some more!


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